All the signs are pointing to a January exit now for Jimmy Bullard.
Depending on which report you read, Hull are either very close to signing him or there’s a long way to go. What we do know is that Fulham have accepted a £5m offer from Hull City for Bullard and that the player is mulling over the move. He has apparently been up to the KC to undergo a medical, which given his injury problems might be the crucial sticking point, and discuss personal terms.
Is it far too cynical of me to wonder whether this is about money? From Fulham’s point of view, £5m for a 30 year-old who has been troubled by injuries and whose knee has obviously been a sticking point in the new contract discussions, doesn’t seem like too bad a deal for us. Provided of course that Hodgson gets to spend the money on a younger replacement who can add energy, drive and creativity to a midfield that – without Bullard of late – has looked rather short on impetus.
Bullard must be disappointed that his choices have effectively boiled down to Bolton (whose similar bid we rejected) and Hull, who still have the potential to be joining us in a relegation scrap. Reports suggest that Jimmy’s unhappy, since his England call-ups, at not being given a contract that reflects his value to the club, i.e. being paid the same wages as our top earner, Andy Johnson. We’ve apparently only offered him a modest wage increase instead of the £45,000 a week in a new three-year deal. Hull seem willing to match that figure – so he could well be on his way.
Should he go, I wonder whether he’ll get as much stick on March 4 as Steed (who was rechristened ‘Greed’) Mabranque, who actually left us to join Spurs for less money.
The positive point is that it’s Bullard who is hovering near the exit door and not Hangeland.
If this post on TIFF was genuine it says rather a lot about the deal:
Now I have no idea if he will go or not but the bid being accepted (from Hull) is true but what I do know is that JB was told by his agent via telephone when he was with a group of players. JB allegedly replied with a “for f*cks sake” and looked pretty fed up. After the call finished he told the other players what had happened and several of them burst out laughing and Jimmy went bright red!
As for potential replacements, the names that have been banded about include Fabian Delph, Ben Watson and Michael Johnson. Delph is a wonderful talent, you only have to watch that goal he scored last week to know that, but I would be very surprised if he came to us. The word is that he’s about to join Sunderland next week. Equally, I would be surprised if we managed to entice Johnson to join us. He’s a very good talent even if he allegedly likes a bit too much of the amber nectar. The one that fits Roy’s ethos is probably Watson, who is industrious but won’t necessarily get us out of our seats like Bullard did. Even that looks unlikely as Watson seems set to go to Middlesbrough.